National soccer team (Taifa Stars) head coach Kim Poulsen has demanded more international friendly matches to offer his young players experience and confidence they needed in competitive matches.
Poulsen said this on Tuesday when the team were arriving in Dar es Salaam from Mozambique where they were knocked out of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on a 7-6 penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw in the normal 90 minutes.
Taifa Stars posed a tough challenge in Mozambique forcing a 2-2 on aggregate before their dreams were shuttered in a long penalty shootout when Aggrey Morris, the scorer of the equalizer, turned from a hero to villain when he missed a decisive penalty that gave the hosts a ticket to advance in the tournament.
However, the coach was pleased with the team’s display as they scored the equalizer when it matters the most and blamed the wind of lucky which blew in favor of their opponents.
Stars, sponsored by Tanzania Breweries Limited through Kilimanjaro Premium Lager, missed three penalties out of nine as the team was disappointed to lose a match they should have won.
“We were almost winning the match after the equalizer. We went to the penalty shoot out with enough confidence but when it came to ninth penalty our chances to progress were cut short of lucky and that is how it is. Mozambique was the lucky side on the day,” said the Danish tactician.
“Now we will train and try to get some friendly matches in August for the players to benefit with experience and get fit ahead of the qualifiers matches for Brazil 2014 World Cup,” he added.
Tanzania will face Morocco when the World Cup qualifiers resume and the coach is confident wonders will be seen as Tanzania, with a point behind group leaders Ivory Coast, are second with three points in the bag.
“We will make sure we get ready for the qualifiers. I hope the players will learn a lot in the Kagame Cup before our camp resumes for World Cup preparations in August,” he said.
Poulsen development policy has seen the likes of Shomari Kapombe and Thomas Ulimwengu nurtured to become local hot prospects and the coach will be scouting more talents to be embarked in his program when Kagame Cup kicks off in mid July.
“We will stick with our development policy with the young players to work as a team and not depending on individual players,” said the coach.
Poulsen said Kagame Cup will give players a platform to showcase their talents and maturity in order to be embarked in the national team.